Mother’s day is quickly approaching, and even though your mom only wants you to come see her on the big day, it’s always nice to prepare a special gift for such a special woman. Pinwheel Crafts offers a great Pendant Jewelry kit that makes it easy to create a special necklace for mom. That being said, we’re here to provide some extra unique ways to customize your pendant necklace to be completely one-of-a-kind and specific to the things your mother loves.
Preparing Printed Images
While the kit comes with a blank page to create your own designs, most of the following ideas include photographs or existing images. For this, the easiest way to customize your necklace is to print your own images. It keeps the originals safe and allows you to resize the image as needed. The only problem with printed images is that the moisture from the glue can cause the image to bleed and lose clarity. Do not fear, there are a couple of ways to prepare your images.
The first option, and the simplest, is to print on coated, photo quality paper. This paper is built to handle adhesives and won’t allow your print to run. If you don’t have this kind of paper on hand, there are a couple of work arounds for printing on uncoated paper.
Sealing Regular Paper
If you don’t have special, coated paper, I highly recommend printing on card stock, if possible. Regular printer paper is thinner, can bleed through quicker, and is much harder to seal. Once you have your card stock print in hand, you will want to seal the front and back of the image. The reason that we want to seal both sides is because they will both be in prolonged contact with glue. While the glue on the back will not cause immediate bleeding, it can still soak through the back of the paper and blow out the print. For the examples included, I used a very light coating of satin varnish on each side using a paint brush.
If you don’t have varnish available, you can also use hairspray. Just keep in mind that you will need to seal the image using multiple, very light layers of hairspray. If you lay it on too heavy, too fast, it will cause your image to warp and bleed. To do this, set up in a well-ventilated area, hold the hairspray 12-18” away from the print, and apply it in a single, swift, sweeping motion. Allow each coat to dry before adding another. Three to four coats should be sufficient, but you can add more if you want to be extra safe.
Cutting out your Image
Once your prints are sealed and dried, you’re ready to start cutting and assembling. The instructions state to glue the cabochons to the image and cut the image out after the glue dries. However, depending on how rigid you print is, you may encounter issues with the image popping away from the glass while cutting. To correct this, place the cabochon on the image, and use a marker or pen to trace the pendant shape. Now cut the image out and place it in the corresponding base. You will need to continue to very slowly cut down the image until it fits.
Once it is the right size, you will then glue it to the base first. You can use the cabochon to help flatten the image down. Once the glue has dried (about 3-4 hours), you’ll then want to glue the cabochon on. Follow the instructions and use a very thin layer of glue. You can then press firmly and wiggle the cabochon a bit to work out any bubbles and wipe away any glue that bleeds out through the seam.
So, without further adieu, here are some great ways to make your mom a one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day necklace!
An easy stand-in for the standard designs included in the kit is a photo of family that is important to your mother. This could be pictures of you and your siblings, your children, or even your mom’s mom. While you can use the actual photos available to you, we recommend photocopying or scanning and reprinting them. This way, you leave the original intact and have the ability to resize the image if needed.
Poems, Letters, or Sentimental Documents
If your mother enjoys keeping records of family history or love letters from bygone days, this is a great option for her. While we don’t recommend using irreplaceable items directly, you can easily use photocopies or scans of precious documents. If you know that she has a favorite poem, or verse from a book, you can also use a photo editing or design program like Photoshop or Illustrator to create a print out of the text to use for her necklace.
Fabric and Textiles
For commemorating special events and places, using found fabric and textiles are a great option. You can use extra fabric from a dress your mother made, a swatch from a piece of old baby clothing, or retired curtains from the house that she raised her children in. Again, if the fabric or item is irreplaceable, use the photocopy or scan and reprint option instead. It’s also a good idea to use photocopying if the fabric is especially thick and bulky. If the fabric is wispy and thin, we recommend using a spray adhesive to stick it flat to a piece of white card stock. This will make the colors more vibrant and help the fabric lay flat while the glue dries.
Finally, for the mothers out there with a green thumb, or garden, use botanical elements to make her necklace special. You can use photographs, scientific illustrations, or even draw/paint your mother’s favorite plant or flower.
If you are feeling EXTRA special, you can even press very small flowers to use directly in the necklace. You will need to glue the pressed item to a piece of white card stock, like the fabric. Also, since the items will only flatten to a certain point, you may need to use extra glue and allow extra time for the glue to dry once you press the cabochon.
A third and final option is to make small nature prints using leaves and petals.
We hope these ideas will help you create a memorable gift for your mom this Mother's Day. Remember to order your Pinwheel Crafts Pendant Jewelry Kit soon so you'll receive it in time for the big day. Keep your eyes peeled for more great ideas for mom next week!